Our Staff

Hello! Nice to meet you.

Todd Sampsell


Todd joined the Friends in 2019 with more than two decades of conservation and non-profit management experience. He is excited to build on Friends’ 30 years of success, and will continue to nurture our partnership with the park, businesses and other community leaders to benefit St. John. Todd believes Friends of VINP and our supporters are uniquely suited to help advance a message about the importance of the park - its natural, cultural, and marine resources - and how we can enjoy and ensure the park remains a positive influence on the economy of St. John. Further, he intends to grow Friends’ abilities to be an advocate for kids in nature, marine resources, public space and climate change impacts on communities like St. John and globally.

Tonia Lovejoy

Development Director
Tonia Lovejoy happily joined the Friends in 2016 and comes with a wealth of experience in nonprofit business development. Tonia came to know St. John and the park from the vantage of the sea in 2015 aboard a sailing vessel with her family. Prior to sailing in the Caribbean, she launched the Beautiful Nation Project, a social network for educators to bring marine literacy into the classroom. She is dedicated to growing Friends’ endeavors on St. John, and in particular fostering the next generation of conservationists!

Mark Gestwicki

Volunteer Programs
Mark Gestwicki, a former Peace Corps volunteer, who last worked the trails of Maine for the Appalachian Mountain Club, began working for the Friends as the Trails Program Coordinator in 2016. Mark has guided hundreds of volunteers to help maintain our park's trails and historic ruins. He also guided our sawyer team post-hurricane Irma and Maria. These are just two examples of how Mark contrbutes to the Friends team! He is also known for his volleyball skills and passion for travel.

Jennifer Stone

Membership & Events Co-Ordinator
Jennifer Stone joined the Friends In September 2019. She and her husband moved to St. John in 2018 from Maine in search of a warmer climate, a sense of community and the island life. Her professional career has included event planning, the hospitality industry, customer service and the investment industry. Jennifer is our Membership and Events Coordinator and is excited to help the Friends of the Park continue their good work on St. John.
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Lydia Boynes

Store Manager
A member of the Friends staff since October of 2012, Lydia manages Friends of The Park stores in Mongoose Junction and the VINP Visitors Center, as well as our online store. She can help you with matters related to our stores, Friends license plates, and information about the Reef Bay and L’Esperance ranger-led hikes.

Chela Thomas

Administrative Assistant
Chela Thomas has been an unofficial member of the Friends team for almost a decade, serving as an archeology intern at Cinnamon Bay. She is thrilled to be with the Friends in this capacity and looks forward to helping you with your membership, event registration and sharing general info.